The recent immigration statistics in the UK is running at more than triple the government's target. Theresa May's administration is under a lot of pressure to find solutions to curb the immigration rate after the Brexit referendum.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that the net migration this March was 327,000 – the third highest level on record. Currently, there are 127,000 migrants without any employment out of which 77,000 are EU nationals.
The above figure shows the number of long-term migrants currently in the UK. The ONS believes that this report will help the government create immigration reform plan.
In the previous report from the ONS published in May, the net migration was slightly higher at 334,000 with 184,000 EU nationals out of the total. The report played a key role in defining the Brexit campaign since David Cameron failed to lower the immigration rate.
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The immigration number was 633,000 while the emigration was 306,000 according to the ONS figures. At the same time, the ONS also revealed that the rate of Romanian and Bulgarian nationals settling in the UK has been continuously growing since 2004. In fact, the total immigrants from these two countries running at 68,000 is more than from any other eight states such as Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic that joined the EU in 2004. On the other hand, 43,000 Briton left the country over the 12 months. The number of long-term foreign students dropped by 28,000 in the year to 164,000.
The ONS spokeswoman, Nicola White said, '' Net migration remains at record levels although the recent trend is broadly flats. The influx of Romanians and Bulgarians has also reached a new high, although that's off-set by falls in non-EU immigration and from other central and eastern European countries.''
She added, '' Work remains the main reason for migration, followed by study was has seen a significant fall in the number of people coming to the UK for education." But the government's top migration advisers are suggesting that low-skilled migrants from the EU must apply for work permits. Sir David Metcalf of the Migration Advisory Committee said, ''It would be pretty straightforward to run a permits scheme similar to a previous mode used for seasonal farm works.''
As low-skilled migrants put extra pressure on housing, education, health, and transport services, Migration Advisory Committee thinks that the failure to redress the issue could be regrettable for future. Metcalf added, '' I think work permit is pretty straightforward way and you already have a model that works. The agricultural scheme was terrifically well administered – it was one guy at the Home Office working with operators and farmers.''
''It was time limited and capped. We could think of similar sectors where you have got a lot of unskilled European labour. That's very much tied up with what the Prime Minister is interested in.'' The Migration Advisory Committee confirmed that migrants account for two million of the 13 million low-skilled workers in Britain.
The report concluded that, ''Costs, often focused in particular locations and sectors, include rapidly changing populations with possible implications for cohesion and integration; extra pressure on housing, education, health and transport services; a small negative impact on wages of low-paid workers [and] serious exploitation of some migrants because of inadequate enforcement of minimum labour standards.''
The influx of EU migration is a priority that the new government under Theresa May would like to address first, as the Prime Minister has asked Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis to come up with migration control plans.
According to a government source, the control over the number of EU migrants will be a priority in the Brexit deal as the government will be working on a package to reduce further non-EU immigration across all three visa routes – work, family, and students.
A chairman of the think thank MigrationWatch, Andrew Green, said, '' We'd like to welcome the prospect of fresh action on migration from outside the EU.'' He added: '' While we wait for the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, it is essential that the Prime Minister sets further action in hand on non-EU migration, which is half the total. The biggest sources of migration from outside the EU is clearly students, very few of whom are recorded as going home. This is where action needs to be focused.'
The new reports reveal that 192,227 babies born in the UK have foreign-born mothers. Polish-born mothers registered 22,928 babies followed by Pakistan and India-born women as the highest from outside the UK. ONS spokeswoman, Elizabeth McLaren said, '' The rising percentage of births to women born outside the UK is largely due to foreign born women making up an increasing share of the female population of childbearing age in England and Wales.
'Part of the reason for this is that migrants are more likely to be working-age adults rather than children or older people. 'Alongside their increasing share of the population, higher fertility among women born outside the UK has also had an impact.'
Poland beats India as the most common non-UK country of birth
An estimated 831,000 Polish-born residents in the UK make Poland the most common non-UK country of birth overtaking India, which had a population of 795,000 last year. According to last year's report, every one in eight people living in the UK were born abroad compared to one in 11 in 2004. The ONS spokeswoman, Nicola White said,''The population of the UK continued to increase between 2014 and 2015, driven by significant increases in both the non-UK born and non-British national population of the UK.''
''Poland is now the most common non-UK country of birth, overtaking India for the first time. ''The number of Polish born citizens living in the UK has continued to increase since Poland joined the EU and the number of UK residents born in Poland was eight times higher in 2015 compared with 2004.''
Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said, ''These data come at a time of considerable uncertainty for EU migrants living in the UK, as most EU migrants are not UK citizens.''
''Although the Government has committed in principle to allow EU migrants to remain in the UK, there are many unresolved questions about their status.''